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Remembrance of things past: How employees perceive their company’s history


Remembrance of things past: How employees perceive their company’s history

Hadrioui, Badr (2014) Remembrance of things past: How employees perceive their company’s history. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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HADRIOUI_MSc_F2014.pdf - Accepted Version


Over the past few decades, organizations have been increasingly showcasing and narrating their history (Keulen, 2013). A testament to this trend are the growing number of corporate museums and the increasing popularity of corporate archivists such as The History Factory (Delahaye, Booth, Clark, Procter, & Rowlinson, 2009; Fogerty, 1997; Nissley & Casey, 2002). The phenomenon hasn’t gone unnoticed in academia, as many scholars have looked into the concept of rhetorical history—the practice of narrating organizational history in a self-serving way —and put forward several hypotheses relating to the effects of rhetorical history on strategic change and organizational culture (Gioia, Corley, & Fabbri, 2002; Ooi, 2002; Suddaby, Foster, & Trank, 2010). I contend that engaging in rhetorical history can be understood as an act of impression management, that is, rhetorical history is the process of managing the historical image of an organization to appeal to relevant audiences (e.g., customers, employees). But for corporate history to be effective, the audience must value and give credence to that history; in order to know whether this is the case, I conducted an exploratory study on how 29 employees from two medium-sized organizations experience corporate history in their daily lives. As well, I inquired into related issues such as how corporate history is assembled and how it circulates within the organization. The results offer, among other things, a detailed description of the attitudes employees hold toward their organization’s history. I conclude with an overview of this study’s theoretical and practical implications.

Divisions:Concordia University > John Molson School of Business > Management
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Hadrioui, Badr
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M. Sc.
Program:Administration (Management option)
Date:August 2014
Thesis Supervisor(s):Lamertz, Kai
Keywords:Rhetorical history; corporate history; impression management; storytelling
ID Code:978898
Deposited On:10 Nov 2014 15:53
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:47
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